How to Divorce from an Abusive Partner
2020 was a difficult year for most of us, but it was particularly challenging for individuals who suffered domestic violence and partner abuse. Research indicates that there was an alarming trend of domestic violence within households in Florida and across the United States due to more time spent at home, isolation from support systems, and other factors related to the pandemic.
Anyone who suffers from domestic abuse should not wait to contact the authorities and take the necessary steps to make sure that they and their children are safe. In many situations, this might include separating and filing for divorce. Divorcing an abusive partner can be especially difficult for many reasons, and it is important to have the help of a Brandon divorce attorney from the start of the process.
Florida Domestic Abuse Laws
In Florida, domestic violence can include any of the following against a spouse (or other closely-related parties):
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Aggravated stalking
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- False imprisonment
- Any other offense that causes injury to household members
Even threats with no harm resulting can constitute abuse. When any of the above happen, you should call the authorities, and your spouse might be arrested. You should contact an experienced family law attorney to seek the proper orders of protection that you might need.
Filing for Divorce
A criminal case and order of protection are legal tools, but they cannot always stop your spouse from physically abusing you or your child. Often, the best way to go about protecting yourself is to file for divorce.
Florida has no-fault divorce, so you do not have to cite domestic abuse as the grounds for your divorce petition. While it seems like abuse should play a larger role, it might only impact:
- Parenting issues – If there was abuse against your child, your child witnessed abuse against you, or the child’s well-being is otherwise at risk, the court might use the abuse to limit your spouse’s parenting rights.
- Financial issues – While abuse itself is not a factor regarding the financial issues in a divorce, a judge can consider the effects that abuse had on a spouse in making determinations. For example, if you had to leave the home due to abuse, and it cost you significantly more money to rent a new place, you might be awarded a larger portion of the marital property.
Another factor is that an abusive spouse can simply be difficult during the divorce process. They might try to make the situation more challenging for you, which can lead to litigation instead of an uncontested divorce or mediated divorce. You want the right legal representation and support the entire time.
Make Sure to Have a Brandon Divorce Attorney on Your Side
At Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A., we represent clients who are in all types of situations facing divorce, including those who suffered abuse. Please do not wait to contact us online or call 813-654-3444 for assistance with your case today.